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| 1 minute read

The promise of photon-counting CT becomes closer to being a reality

Conversations that take place on the exhibit floor at the annual meetings of the Radiological Society of North America are fascinating and offer insights into major innovations that are occurring in diagnostic radiology. One such innovation is the work on photon counting CT.  

In September, the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first CT scanning system that makes use of the emerging CT technology of photon-counting detectors. These systems for CT scanners can measure each individual X-ray that passes through a patient's body; current CT systems use detectors that measure the total energy contained in many X-rays at once. Through use of the photon counting technology, the FDA believes the CT system cleared for use today will offer images that will provide radiologists and other physicians considerably more detailed information about the patient.

At this year's RSNA meeting, Radiology Business magazine discussed photon-counting research with radiological physicist Tim Szczykutowicz, PhD, DABR, associate professor radiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with the departments of medical physics and biomedical engineering. Dr. Szczykutowicz is the director of computed tomography (CT) operations-CT protocol optimization, and he is helping develop a new type of photon-counting CT detector. The video is available here.

The work to develop photon-counting CT detector technology has been a few years in the making. But with the recent FDA approval and clinical imaging of human subjects now ongoing, one hopes that the promise of photon-counting CT will offer patients and their physicians with considerably better CT image quality while making use of lower radiation dose levels.

I urge you to watch this interesting interview that took place at RSNA.

You are seeing much better image detail, lower radiation doses, better quantification of CT numbers that you can trust, better imaging of bariatric patients, not so many issues with photon starvation and noise streaking, and all those types of things that make a radiologist's job harder.


health care & life sciences, diagnostic radiology